6 Jul 2006

Fiji Party of National Unity ends coalition with Labour

10:20 am on 6 July 2006

The pre-election coalition between the Fiji Labour Party and the western division-based Party of National Unity, or PANU, has collapsed.

The PANU spokesman, Ponipate Lesavua, has told Fiji TV that they are severing all ties with the Labour Party because of Mahendra Chaudhry's failure to give them a seat in the Senate as he had promised.

Mr Lesavua, who was a Labour Party senator in the last Upper House, says there was an agreement between him and Mr Chaudhry for his party to be given a senate seat.

Mr Lesavua says the agreement was verbal but Mr Chaudhry should have respected that.

He has described Mr Chaudhry's actions as a blow to the chiefs and people of Fiji's west.

Mr Lesavua says they regret teaming up with Labour before the election.

The Labour Party lawyer, Rajendra Chaudhry, who is the son of Mahendra Chaudhry, says there was never any written agreement with the Party of National Unity on senate seats.